How To Clean Retainers? | 04 Best Ways Of Cleaning Retainers

Cleaning your Invisalign retainers is one of the essential parts of Invisalign treatment that people forget. Everyone knows how important it is to take care of braces, and no doubt, braces require little extra care than Invisalign retainers. But, Invisalign retainers are removed in a couple of days, so no one cares about them. However, removable Invisalign retainers also need cleaning. You will have dirty and smelly retainers to put on in other cases.

While keeping in view the importance of cleaning retainers, we have discussed some of the best ways for how to clean retainers? There are several methods for cleaning your retainers, so you don’t have to stick to any one of them. You can change them according to your feasibility.

Top 12 Best Retainer Cleaner

What Are Invisalign Retainers?

Invisalign retainers are technically called Essix retainers and also called Invisalign retainers usually. These retainers are clear plastic retainers used in the Invisalign treatment for its protection and better results. Learning how to clean Invisalign retainers is of utmost importance or hygiene and cleanliness.

The retainers easily fit like a thin and comfortable layer over your teeth and act like a mouthguard. They seem like Invisalign aligners, also made from the same material. But, as retainers’ job is to fix teeth in a place without moving, they are made a little thicker than aligners.

Importance Of Cleaning Your Invisalign Retainers

Tight fit is essential for retainers to exert pressure for giving the teeth a new place and holding teeth in a unique position. Resultantly, any dirt, bacteria, food particles, etc., on your teeth or inside the retainers will stick in your aligner and teeth as saliva can not go inside the retailers and wash it off the harmful material and bacteria, etc. As a result, it leads to the risk of tooth decay.

Thus, it is crucial to ensure that your retainers or any other appliances in your teeth are clean before you put them back in the mouth after every meal or anything you eat. Here are some cleaning routines to follow:

First, you should brush your teeth after having any food or drinks, especially sweet drinks. 

Secondly, there is a daily cleaning routine to keep your retainers tidy and fresh daily. Brush them like your teeth.

Third and last, deep cleaning can occasionally occur when you need and feel smelly or dirty.

Follow these three routines for maintaining your retainers clean; on the other hand, plaque and bacteria will build on the aligners that will cause other mouth diseases and oral health issues. So, It is essential to keep your Invisalign clean to stay healthy.

Besides this, if you find any issues in cleaning your retainers, you must contact your doctor to guide you further.  

How Often Should We Clean Our Retainers?

Before knowing the best ways to clean your retailers, we must understand how often we should clean them. According to an article, doctors recommend that their Invisalign patients do it a minimum of twice a day.

First, in the morning and second, before going to bed. Additionally, their advice is to wash them very well before putting them back into your mouth after every meal or drink.

Moreover, deep cleaning is also necessary occasionally. However, you don’t need to change your set of retainers after one or two weeks. But, you can do this whenever needed, or it feels like a deep clean, you can go for a new set. However, if you think deep cleaning once a week will do the job, you can choose that.

Secondly, how often to clean your retainers depends on the schedule you wear. It may be full-time or just at night; the time is different for them. If it is for a full time, then at first, obviously, you will not need to clean your new retainers profoundly or so often. But then, you can deep clean it once a week as you won’t be changing it every few weeks.

However, if you wear it only for the night, clean it once a day, most probably in the morning when you take it off. Also, please give it a thorough wash before putting it back in the mouth.   

Types Of Retainers

Cleaning varies in type; it is crucial to identify your retainer type before cleaning your retainer. There are three types of retainers given below:

Hawley Retainers

This type of retainer has a wire that helps to hold the retainer in place. It is removable, so it’s easy to clean.

Clear Plastic Retainers

This type of retainer is also called Essix, these retainers slide over your teeth, and the good thing about these retainers is that they are invisible. Hence, you don’t need to worry about how to clean clear retainers.

 Permanent Retainers

They are also called fixed or bonded retainers. They are attached to your lower front teeth. It’s non-removable; you can not remove this. It takes months or even years to bring your teeth to a place.

How to Clean Retainer?

How To Clean Retainers?

Here we discuss clear plastic retainers; thus, some tips discussed below to clean retainers properly will follow for these retainers. Lets learn how to clean plastic retainers. [1]


There are so many products available in the market, especially cleaning Invesilian retainers. Those products are advertised as the only best product for cleaning. However, those products perform well, but these are not superior products.

Even your toothbrush will do the job if you do it regularly. It is familiar to say not to ignore the power of your toothbrush for cleaning retailers. Directly use a soft-bristled toothbrush and wash it with lukewarm water.

Although, one thing to keep in mind is not to use toothpaste for retainers, as it can bring scratches on plastic, so wash it with lukewarm water. Additionally, you can use unscented soft liquid soap if your tool is smelly or has plaque.

In The Distilled Vinegar

Are you wondering how to clean retainers with vinegar? You can also make DIY cleaners after brushing with a toothbrush and liquid soap. DIY cleaners also work great in cleaning your Invisalign retainers. White vinegar is safe to use; additionally, it removes bacteria and plaque attached to your appliance and cleans your retainers very well.

For making this DIY, mix one part of distilled white vinegar with three parts of lukewarm water and stir the mixture very well. Now the mixture is ready, and you can soak your retainers into it. First, make sure the retainers are entirely in the mixture. Soak them for 15 to 30 minutes, and then wash them with water.

With Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another component for making an efficient DIY retainer cleaner, making this DIY solution mix hydrogen peroxide and water in a container. Mix both ingredients in equal amounts and stir it well.

In a way, your solution is ready to soak the appliance. Like the above mixture, keep the device in solution for 15 to 30 minutes in water and then wash it with normal water.          

Invisalign Cleaning System

Invisalign cleaning systems work well, If you decide to purchase them, you can go with them, but it is unnecessary to buy them. However, if your retailers are marked dirty or discolored, the Invisalign cleaning system works well.

Although, as discussed above, you have to change your Invisalign aligners every one or two weeks; thus, if you want, you can save money by just using your toothbrush for cleaning retainers.

Precautions To Clean Invisalign Retainers

As plastic retainers are removable, using any harsh cleaning method can damage your retainers. Thus, it is essential to take care of your retainers while keeping them neat, clean, and healthy.

Avoid Scrubbing With Toothpaste

Scrubbing toothpaste on your retainer will cause scratches and damage the retainer. So, avoid using any toothpaste on your retainers.

Skip The Chemicals

Avoid using harsh cleansers for cleaning your appliances. According to a study on Essix Retainers, it is suggested that using chemical cleaning tablets will not reduce dirt and bacteria as much as simple tooth brushing will do.     

Don’t Soak In Colored Mouthwash.

Soaking your retainers in dyes or colored mouthwashes will bring discoloration to your retainer, especially when you wash your retailers for too long in colored mouthwashes or any other chemical.   

Avoid High Heat

High heat can ruin your retainers, so always keep your appliances away from hot boiling water, microwaves and always use lukewarm water for washing your retainers. 

Replace As Needed

Invisalign retainers are removable, so make sure to remove them when needed. Even the deep cleaning will not work after a fixed period. Keeping it in your mouth for an extra period will cause other mouth diseases.

Bottom line

After reading this article, you must have clearly understood the Invisalign retainers and how to clean retainers properly. Invisalign retainer is a modern method for straightening your teeth.

Moreover, its cleaning is an integral part of the treatment for keeping your retainers healthy. It is as essential as brushing your teeth after every meal. But, on the other hand, Ignoring this will lead to other mouth diseases.

Some general tips for how to clean your retainers are given in the article, but if you find any problem holding your retainers, it’s always best to ask your doctor for further instructions. 

Learn About Invisalign Retainer Treatment
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